Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Questions from Readers

To follow up on the last question, one reason our manuscripts don’t sell is that we don’t meet the perceived needs of a large number of people. Too much of what I see focuses too narrowly. Or they write about the obvious. Especially among Christian writers, they retell biblical stories and the application is one that Augustine espoused in the fourth century.

We need to present a big concept that speaks to needs and then focus on that topic, developing a fresh way of looking at it.

Here’s an example. David picked up five stones to attack Goliath. He needed only one. Did David have doubts that one would be enough? You could use that as an example of knowing what God wants and yet doubts persist. Struggling with doubts is universal and would have wide appeal.

To deserve publication, a manuscript needs two special qualities. First, it must be unique. Personal experiences fit, but not all writing. If I wrote about the evil effects of drugs, that’s not unique.

Second, the manuscript must be universal. That is, it has to appeal to a wide range of readers. Again, using the subject of drugs, suppose I wrote about the underlying need of people who succumb to the lure of drugs. Or I tell the account of someone once addicted and how that person was freed.

Does your manuscript fit the unique plus universal appeal?

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